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The Seventeen Provinces, also called the Burgundian Circle, is the name given to a number of counties and duchies in the Low Countries in the 15th and 16th century. Most of these were fiefs of either France or the Holy Roman Empire, although by the 15th century they had been united in a personal union and were only fiefs in name. In the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor officialized this situation by declaring the region as a separate entity, a Kreits within the Holy Roman Empire.
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